• Advertisement

Animation Low cost motion capture

Recommended Posts

Hello guys! 

I was recently researching about motion capture systems and found many methods and hardware, some of them are expensive, some are cheap. As we are indie, we are looking for Mocap for like 2k$ or like this. I know we need to clean up animations anyway, please do not tell about it. What I want to hear is what way will give us cleaner animations? 


First option we have is to use some Kinects v2.0 + PS Eye and Move. It will cost around 500$ + 1000$ for IPI Soft wich can record and convert all the animations.


Another option is to use 8+ cheap FullHD 60fps cameras (~500$), any black sport suit (~100$), small balls (paint them with reflective paint)(~50$), and some lights(~50$). Use it as studios do with Motion Bluilder (1000$).

I know there are speacial cameras for Mocap, but they are really expensive..


Some say kinects + IPI are better choice, no need to wear any suits or work with marks.

But my guess it that using cameras with suit and marks will give us cleaner animations, but what is better in your opinion?

Edited by Flakky

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Flakky said:

First option we have is to use some Kinects v2.0 + PS Eye and Move. It will cost around 500$ + 1000$ for IPI Soft wich can record and convert all the animations.

This is a good path but you don't need expensive software. Blender is free and lots of motion capture enthusiasts have made software for it.

The quality you get depends on your capture device and artist, but you will only get large animations. It works well for games.

1 hour ago, Flakky said:

Another option is to use 8+ cheap FullHD 60fps cameras (~500$), any black sport suit (~100$), small balls (paint them with reflective paint)(~50$), and some lights(~50$). Use it as studios do with Motion Bluilder (1000$).

A few pains here. 8 camera's is a lot of work to clean the output from them. Without a full production team this is just going to be a pain.

You don't want reflective surfaces, not for your cloth or your trackers. The more reflective a object is the less it keeps it's original color.


Here is what I recommend for this kind of work:

Download Blender.

Get some colored stickers, the dots but the large ones. Ping pong balls work better, I have home made markers that I use for mine(colored paper with hooks).

Get a long sleeve shirt of one color, no pictures or anything on it. Get long pants of one color. The color should be a odd one like neon pink. Cheaper cloth is better.

A huge cloth of a single color, again the color should be odd. Don't get silk, a cheap cloth works best. When selecting a cloth it should reflect as little light as possible and shouldn't have very white edges when you fold the material.

You need 3-4 cameras. They don't need to be the same quality, your mobile will work. You can also use one if you do 2D animation or are willing to do the same action 3-4 times and cleanup the difference latter. I use the mobiles I keep around for testing my games.

Some skin safe markers is also needed for face capture, but you will find this is a huge pain to do; even with pro tools it's a pain.


This will be enough to get started. Start small, like capturing your arm and move up as you perfect it.


I really recommend Blender over any other software for this. It's used all over the world in professional productions and because of it's opensource nature, it works with all kinds of formats and files.

Blender also has a huge community of motion capture hobbyist, meaning that it has tools for dealing with less than perfect capturing results.

Edited by Scouting Ninja

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

@Scouting Ninja 

Thank you for your answer!

What about software.. Are you talking about Blender for cleaning animations? Because IPI is made for recording, cleaning and exporting, as well as Motion Bluilder. For other purposes we use Maya.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I am talking about Blender for everything after you captured the data.

You clean the video and highlight contrast using Blender's composer.

You track and convert to 3D data of choice. Because Blender has tracking in the software you get data -> 3D instantly. You can use paths direct tracking and lots of other options.

This video I found quickly. Here you can see how it's working with just a single capture and no extras. That is how easy Blender is to use.


Then you re-target your rig using Blenders bone constraints and IK Rig and get your basic animation. Bake this and cleanup result.

Edited by Scouting Ninja

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Flakky said:

Can anyone tell more about using iPi + kinects and PS Eye?


" rel="external">

The basic setup is you need a way to read the capture data from the Kenetic. That is the recorder it renders things in this bright colored depth pass for the ipisoft mocap.


Then you need to calibrate the data so it's synced so that all inputs are working in the same space to fill in missing info. This is where most auto motion capture software like ipisoft are weakest.

You will need to run the calibration multiple times just to sync 2 data inputs more inputs will take longer to fix. For Ipisoft to work you also need to make actions very clear, doing the baboon arms and broad legs like you can see in the video.


Last you need to pass the animation to the model. Ipisoft does this on a per point bases so if there is any data missing that part just stops moving. This is where auto software is at it's best. You will just point and it will follow.

Edited by Scouting Ninja

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Advertisement
  • Advertisement
  • Popular Tags

  • Advertisement
  • Popular Now

  • Similar Content

    • By spacerat
      we are looking for someone who can develop a fully automatic [recruiting information removed by moderator - please use jobs section]
    • By DeadPixelDeviants
      DeadPixel Deviants is a tiny (3 official members, 1 honorary member) team searching for one or more artist(s) and animator(s). The game currently being worked on is a 3D, single player RPG, however 2D artists may still message us to assist with future games.
      "Project Zodiac" current progress as of roughly one week: 
    • By INTwindwolf
      We are an indie game studio consisted of professional and skilled artists who are dedicated indie enthusiasts. Our current project is INT, developed on Unity Engine 5 for platforms Windows, Linux, and Mac. We are recruiting a few more members on the team to finalize our playable demo.

      INT is a 3D Sci-fi RPG with a strong emphasis on story, role playing, and innovative RPG features such as randomized companions. The focus is on the journey through a war-torn world with fast-paced combat against hordes of enemies. The player must accomplish quests like a traditional RPG, complete objectives, and meet lively crew members who will aid in the player's survival. Throughout the game you can side and complete missions through criminal cartels, and the two major combatants, the UCE and ACP, of the Interstellar Civil War.
      Please note that all of our current positions are remote work. You will not be required to travel.
      For more information about us, follow the links listed below.
      INT Official website
      Steam Greenlight
      IndieDB page
      Also follow social media platforms for the latest news regarding our projects.
      We are looking for an Animator to join the Art team to rig characters and create animations for the game. You will be collaborating with fellow members of the team in the creation and polishing of 3D animations.
      Your tasks will include:
      Create rigs to be used for animations. Skin 3D models to rigs. Refine existing 3D animations. Contribute to constructive team discussions. Attend regular team meetings.  
      To be successful in this position, following requirements apply:
      Have working knowledge of 3D animation suites. Understand import/export requirements for Unity Engine integration. Excellent self-management skills. Excellent attention to detail. Excellent communication skills. Satisfaction of the follow requirements are preferred, but not essential:
      Knowledge of the Unity Engine UMA character creation system would be an advantage.  
      This is the perfect opportunity to get into the game development industry. We have the majority of our art assets completed and are marching towards our crowd-funding campaign, currently planned for mid 2018.
      We are unable to offer wages or per-item payments at this time. However revenue-sharing from crowd-funding is offered to team members who contribute 15-20 hours per week to company projects, as well as maintain constant communication and adhere to deadlines. Your understanding is dearly appreciated.
      TO APPLY
      Please send your Cover Letter, CV, Portfolio (if applicable), and other relevant documents/information to this email: JohnHR@int-game.net
      Thank you for your time! Please feel free to contact me via the email provided should you have any questions. We look forward to hearing from you!
      John Shen
      HR Lead
      Starboard Games LLC
    • By adharsh anand
      hello, a friend and i are building a 2D platformer and i'd like to ask which software would be the best for 2D pixel animation
      (Moderator edit: changed the subject to be the question that needs answering -- Kylotan)
    • By lawnjelly
      Anyone have any suggestions for ways of animating characters on varying slopes on landscapes? I've no idea what are standard ways of dealing with this, and have been putting this off to some extent. The issues are mainly with larger animals cutting through the terrain on slopes.

      I've tried raising animals up higher above the land, but they look obviously 'in the air' in certain positions. I've also tried putting 2 land height probes at the front and rear, so that they change height according to their orientation, but that looks silly with strange changes in elevation as they move. I've also tried changing the pitch angle when rendered, this looks a bit silly (but not out of question lol).
      Another possibility is to turn off depth testing against the landscape, but I would have to figure a way of still having it working when they are behind mountains. Perhaps if I push back the depth value of the land this will work.
      I have read this article on mechwarrior 4:
      and I see they deal with it by having a flat animation, left and right and up and down slope animations, and blending between them. I can do this, but it sounds like a lot of extra animations for a one man team, and it also means I'd probably have to use a lower / upper body split for all animations, rather than be able to use full body. Plus use some performance for the blending (this is on mobiles).
      I've not really used IK before in game, is this a realistic / practical solution? Or can I use a simpler system, make some standard poses on flat, and slopes, then measure knee etc angle offset, then blend in these offsets with some scaling at runtime to make the legs more bent or extended?

      Another solution is to just design around the problem and make the large animals only able to move over flat ground. I guess this is more what happens in real life, I haven't seen many crocodiles climbing up slopes on nature progs lol.
      Any thoughts, experiences on this would be welcome.
  • Advertisement